missoula

One of my favorite authors, Jon Krakauer of Into the Wild, and my personal favorite, Into Thin Air fame, has penned a new book on the increasingly publicized issue of the campus rape culture.  In Missoula, Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, Krakauer weaves an agonizing tale surrounding the sexual assault of several University of Montana female students.  In the book he explores the controversial topic of what actually constitutes as definitions of rape. 

In an interview with NBC, Krakauer explained that the number of sexual assaults in Missoula are average even though the small town is labeled by the media as America’s Rape Capital.

 ‘If this problem could exist in Missoula, it could exist anywhere in the country, and it does.’ he said. ‘Rape is this huge problem, 80 per cent of rapes are unreported.’

As with most things, I have a strong opinion on this.  I have to preface my argument with a quick disclaimer. I don’t think it would be fair to compare simple numbers from the 1950’s to today’s violent sexual assaults. But it is safe to say that statistically violent crimes as a whole has steadily increased since the 1950’s. It’s easy to agree, the times were very different.

But the problem does not lie within our campuses. The problem lies within our culture. For a couple decades now we’ve watched the transformation of a society that was once outward looking become a completely inward viewing, narcissistic, self-absorbed society.  I remember when I was in school the “golden rule” hung on the wall. Remember? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As kids, we were told no. A lot.  If we played sports there were winners, and even more importantly, there were losers. You couldn’t have anything you wanted upon an immediate whim. There was no Netflix. We were taught to respect our elders. Say please and thank you.  And hold the door open for others. If you wanted something it took patience and sacrifice. And words like God and Jesus, weren’t frowned upon.

Fast forward. We have a little army that is now all grown up. These are the ones who played in soccer games where everyone was a winner. No one had to learn to deal with losing or rejection or disappointment. The entire sun and universe has revolved around these “kids” for years. If they want something they have come to learn they are “entitled” to it. They see something they want, they take it. Or have a fit until they get it. How can you tell me that this progressive trend wouldn’t or hasn’t had dire results?

I believe this is what we are seeing on our campuses. Don’t like being told no? Take it anyway. Because after all it’s about you and not the other person. Your needs come first, not those of others. This is an entitlement society at it’s very ugliest.

My friend made an excellent point this morning when we were talking about all this. She mentioned the “safe rooms” that were set up at a University when a conservative woman was coming to speak on campus for a debate on the campus rape culture. The safe room was equipped with “cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma.”

Not to undermine victims of sexual assault even in the slightest, but for those who are not victims and listening to this debate who act like victims of nothing more than the opinion and words of others is pure lunacy.

My friend continued, “Isn’t it crazy how we went from the whole feminazi thing to these delicate flowers who need safe rooms and laws to protect them from trigger words and microaggressions???”

We’ve left our children completely ill equipped at dealing with life. Any and all responsibility has been removed from them.

I am in full support of helping victims of these heinous, violent crimes. They should be able to get the help they seek especially when it comes to prosecuting her attacker. But I also know there is a flip side to this coin which can lead to false accusations of attacks for malevolent purposes. Who is going to protect the males being unjustly accused?

And as a result of false accusations, like the Rolling Stone University of Virginia rape story fiasco, true victims of rape suffer the consequences. Suddenly their words no longer carry weight and they are written off as crying wolf.

I am a mother to both a son and a daughter. My daughter will be going off to college in just one short year. I think about the advice I will give her before she goes. And it won’t be popular or politically correct. But I believe God gave her a brain for a reason and I’m going to ask her to take the responsibility to use it. I would tell her she needs to do the regular things. Don’t walk around alone at night. Stick with your friends etc. But the biggest advice I’ll give her will be concerning alcohol. Alcohol and becoming inebriating at a party or even on a date can put her at a much greater risk for being harmed or raped. And again, I’m not blaming those who have gotten drunk at a party and have been raped. A drunk girl is not an invitation for sex. But, it would dramatically increase her chances if she puts herself in a position where she loses control of herself. So I’m going to ask her to continue making good choices, like she already has.

And in the same breath I’m going to tell my son the exact same thing. That he needs to remain in control of the situations he puts himself in and how alcohol and poor choices can lead to dramatic consequences. He also needs to use his brain and not put himself in a position to be falsely accused.

Life is hard. There are no safe rooms. You will hear things you don’t like. You will at some point in your life be offended. You have to learn that you will be told no. And you won’t like it. It doesn’t give you a free pass to have it anyway. You also will be required to use your brain and take full responsibility for your life even if that means pressing charges against a rapist and preventing him from the next attack. Which my heart bleeds for any woman who has to go through that type of difficulty.

It’s not an easy topic to tackle. There are many cogs in the wheel. And it’s obvious that it’s an issue that needs to be addressed and addressed well. But continuing with progressive ideals will never dig us out of this hole. They can’t keep shoving a sexual society in our face and then demand no one take responsibility for anything.

H/T to Sherry Keller for the excellent talking points.